After she died, her body lay in state in the Toronto Labor Lyceum for three days, which is apparently a no-no in the Jewish religion, however people flew in from around the world to pay tribute.

The Labor Lyceum is located on Spadina street in what is now the border of Toronto Chinatown and Kensington Market districts. The Lyceum became a Cantonese restaurant. It was eventually forced out of business because of a ghostly apparition which would appear floating in the women's washroom. The washroom is located exactly where Emma's body lay in state in the Lyceum.

In an English pub, such a thing would be welcome. But in a Cantonese washroom, with women running screaming and yelling Gwei! it's not so good. The restaurant eventually closed.

Many years later it reopened as the Bright Pearl. They invested in a lot of feng shui to appease the spirits - a set of marble lions for the main door, a second pair for the new door on a sidestreet erected for partons who would not use the main door, and several other things. It seems to have worked - Emma's ghost has not been seen since.

Yes, I've eaten there, the dim sum is quite good. And no, I did not see Emma.

Emma Goldman, known to some as “Red Emma,” was born in Russia in the summer of 1869. At age 16 she immigrated to the United States along with her family. Because of her family’s lack of money, Emma worked in a clothing factory in Rochester, New York. Here, a co-worker introduced her to the writings of Johann Most, a Libertarian essayist.

Influenced by the ideas of Johann Most, Goldman was prompted to move to New York City in 1889, where she became an Anarchist. Goldman fell into a group of young men and women with similar ideas and chose to participate in demonstrations often. Because of her involvement in a plot to assassinate industrialist Henry Clay Flick, Goldman began being watched by government officials and police. New York Police would often find minor reasons to attempt arrest on Goldman because of her political affiliations. In 1908, in an effort by the American government to limit Goldman’s rights and freedoms, she was stripped of her citizenship. Following the legal loss of her residency, she was arrested several times, including once for urging unemployed men to steal food for their family. Her most notable imprisonment was for obstructing conscription during the first World War, for which she was placed behind bars for two years.

In 1919, the Attorney General of the United States, in an effort to detain and deport all suspected Communists and Anarchists arrested Goldman again. She was put on trial for her views and lost. Along with 246 others, she was extradited to Russia. Not wanting to stay in her home country for very long, Goldman applied for and received citizenship in Great Britain. Here, she continued to write and publish her essays and articles, managing to still have them circulated in the United States and Russia. With her style of writing and strong political beliefs, she was able to change the minds of many socialists and Communists about their form of government.

During the years between 1906 and 1917, Goldman, along with her comrade Alexander Berkman, wrote, edited, and published "Mother Earth", a periodical paper with concerns of different natures. Subjects addressed in the paper included women’s suffrage, the right for birth control, anarchism, trade unions, free love, and World War I. She also penned works such as Anarchism and Other Essays, a book containing essays from "Mother Earth" as well as letters to heads of states, and My Disillusionment in Russia.

Goldman died in 1940 during a vacation in Toronto, Canada, where her body was displayed until her family came to bury her. Her family was later given permission by the United States to entomb her in Chicago, because most of her living relatives resided there. Goldman’s works continued to be relevant and important in America throughout the Cold War, and continue to have an effect to this day on political radicals.



No Author Given. Jewish Women's Archive. "JWA - Emma Goldman - Overview," 2004 http://www.jwa.org/exhibits/wov/goldman/index.html March 29, 2006

Wehling, Jason. “Anarchy in Interpretation: The Life of Emma Goldman” 1995. http://www.spunk.org/texts/people/goldman/sp001520/emmabio.html March 29, 2006

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